# Application Report

SLVA446 – November 2010

Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Maximum Power Point Tracking
Dave Freeman ................................................................................................................................. ABSTRACT Photovoltaic (PV) systems have been used for many decades. Today, with the focus on greener sources of power, PV has become an important source of power for a wide range of applications. Improvements in converting light energy into electrical energy as well as the cost reductions have helped create this growth. Even with higher efficiency and lower cost, the goal remains to maximize the power from the PV system under various lighting conditions.

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Introduction
The power delivered by a PV system of one or more photovoltaic cells is dependent on the irradiance, temperature, and the current drawn from the cells. Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is used to obtain the maximum power from these systems. Such applications as putting power on the grid, charging batteries, or powering an electric motor benefit from MPPT. In these applications, the load can demand more power than the PV system can deliver. In this case, a power conversion system is used to maximize the power from the PV system. There are many different approaches to maximizing the power from a PV system, these range from using simple voltage relationships to more complex multiple sample based analysis. Depending on the end application and the dynamics of the irradiance, the power conversion engineer needs to evaluate the various options.

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Photovoltaic Operation
Figure 1 shows a simple model of a PV cell. RS is the series resistance associated with connecting to the active portion of a cell or module consisting of a series of equivalent cells. Using Equation 1 and I-V measurements, the value of RS can be calculated. Figure 2 shows that RS varies with the reciprocal of irradiance.
RS +

RP

V

-

Figure 1. Simple PV Model Simple PV output current:

I = Iph - IO x (e

q x (V + I x RS ) nxkxT

-1) -

V + I x RS RP

(1)

SLVA446 – November 2010 Submit Documentation Feedback

Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Maximum Power Point Tracking
© 2010, Texas Instruments Incorporated

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Figure 3 shows a comparison of the I-V and power characteristics at different values of irradiance.9V Imp = 1.4A 2 200 160 120 Vmp = 37. Sanyo HIT 215W 2 Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Maximum Power Point Tracking © 2010. The parameters usually given in PV data sheets are: • VOC = Open circuit output voltage • ISC = Short circuit output current • VMP = Maximum power output voltage • IMP = Maximum power output current These values are typically given for 25°C and 1000W/m2. This component can be neglected in many applications except for low light conditions.com 3 2 1 0 0 0.ti. Current through the diode is represented by Equation 2: q x (V + I x RS ) nxkxT IO x (e -1): (2) Where: • IO = Diode saturation current • q = Electron charge (1.003 0.06A Output Current (A) 4 Isc = 3.006 1/Irradiance(W/m ) Figure 2.36A 3 2 Isc = 1.38x10-23J/K) • n = Ideality factor ( from 1 to 2) • T = Temperature ( ºK) q The value n x k x T is weak function of ln(irradiance).12A 600 W/m^2 600 W/m power 2 80 40 0 200 W/m 2 1 200 W/m power 2 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Output Voltage (V) Figure 3.22A SLVA446 – November 2010 Submit Documentation Feedback .6A 1000 W/m 2 240 Vmp = 40. > 100kΩ in most modern PV cells.004 2 0. 6 5 Isc = 5. This most likely is a change in the ideality factor as the irradiance changes. RS vs Reciprocal of Irradiance for Sanyo HIT 215W RP is parallel leakage resistance and is typically large. Texas Instruments Incorporated Output Power (W) 1000 W/m power Vmp = 39.005 0.7V Imp = 3.Photovoltaic Operation 6 5 4 R S (W ) www.001 0.6V Imp = 5.002 0.6x10-19 C) • k = Boltzmann constant (1.

This method simply uses single voltage to represent the VMP. In the case where the system is mobile.4 0. Incremental Conductance 6. 1 0.8 Relative Current 0. The actual performance will be determined by the average level of irradiance. Perturb and Observe 5. Texas Instruments Incorporated 3 .5 0. 3. the method will collect about 80% of the available maximum power.ti. Another aspect that sometimes is overlooked is that the output current is also a function of the angle of incidence.2 0. Although the total irradiance may be constant. if the angle of incidence is not zero compared to the source. Reference 1 gives this method an overall rating of about 80%. Temperature Parametric MPPT methods 1 through 5 are covered in this document. In some cases this value is programmed by an external resistor connected to a current source pin of the control IC. the effective irradiance is reduced which results in a reduction in current as shown in Figure 4.7 0. Once the system obtains the VOC value.6 0. 3. Angle of Incidence vs Relative Output Current 3 MPPT Methods One of the more complete analyses of MPPT methods is given in Reference 1. the IMP changes in proportion to the irradiance as shown in Figure 9. In the cases of low levels of irradiance the results can be better. this resistor can be part of a network that includes a NTC thermistor so the value can be temperature compensated. In this case. Temperature 7. This paper compares 7 different methods along derivatives of two of the methods. This means that for the various different irradiance variations.1 Constant Voltage The constant voltage method is the simplest method. As well.1 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Angle of Incidence (°) Figure 4.com MPPT Methods The ISC values are proportional to the irradiance. VMP is calculated by Equation 3: VMP = k x VOC (3) SLVA446 – November 2010 Submit Documentation Feedback Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Maximum Power Point Tracking © 2010. Short Circuit Current 4. This factor may be more evident when a PV system has modules that cannot be uniformly mounted or the system is mobile.9 0.2 Open Circuit Voltage An improvement on this method uses VOC to calculate VMP. the angle may be continuously changing and the maximum power point tracking system may require greater tracking speed. Open Circuit Voltage 3. These methods include: 1. Constant Voltage 2.www.3 0.